What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

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Teradata Employee

What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

This article will introduce the new features and UI enhancements that have been added to Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11. The focus of this release is on usability and Section 508 conformance.

This article assumes that you are already familiar with the features in SQL Assistant 13.10 Edition 2. If not, you may wish to read the following articles first:

Code Completion

Code Completion has been added to support the basic Select, Insert, Update, Delete statements.

While this option is switched on, a drop down list of suggested object and built-in function names will appear after the appropriate keywords or punctuation marks are typed.

As you continue to type the name you require the first matching name in the list will be highlighted. When the name you want is highlighted you can press Enter to select it. Typing other characters such as open paren or comma may also be used to both select the item and also enter the character you typed.

The following picture shows a sample drop down list that appears while typing a FROM clause:

The following picture shows a sample drop down list that appears after typing a period following a name:

The following picture shows the help information displayed when a built-in function is selected:

When using Code Completion to enter a Select statement you should type your From clause before typing the remainder of the statement. This will allow the application to add the columns contained within the tables and views in your From clause to the lists that will be displayed for other clauses.

Note that SQL Assistant works differently than other code completion implementations in that it remembers the tables and views that you have used in previous From clauses. This allows you to ignore the requirement to type the From clause first if subsequent statements access the same tables and views.

Please refer to the User Guide for more information on this topic.

If you wish to display a list of Database, Table and View names while entering another statement (such as Show Table) you can press Ctrl+Space to display the list. 

The list of built-in functions is loaded from a pair of files called Teradata.mbr and TeradataA.mbr. These files can be edited to add your own User Defined Functions, or to remove built-in functions that you never use. If you are connected to another database, such as Oracle, the files Base.mbr and BaseA.mbr will be used instead. These files contain a small number of functions that are common to most database vendors. If you regularly connect to another vendor's database you may create your own mbr files specifically for that database.  Please refer to the User Guide for more information on this topic.

Note - If you use the Teradata form of the From clause (a simple comma separated list) you must press Ctrl+Shift+Enter after entering the last table, view or alias name in your From clause. Alternatively, you can type the start of the Where clause. Both of these will cause SQLA to load the list of columns in that final table or view. (This is not required if you use the ANSI 'JOIN ... ON' syntax)  

Cleaning up your History

After you have used SQL Assistant for some time you may find that your History table has become cluttered with many duplicate entries and with queries that you no longer require. In the past the only way to clean up the History was to manually select those rows that you wished to delete.

In version 13.11 we have added a Cleanup History dialog to make this process simpler.

This dialog contains 2 sections.

  1. The upper section allows you to specify one or more criteria to match the rows that you wish to delete. Only those rows that match all the specified criteria will be deleted.

    For example, you may wish to delete the history rows for all queries that were executed on a specific Data Source prior to a specific Date. In this case you would fill in only the Data Source and the Date fields.
  2. The lower section - a single checkbox - allows you to quickly delete all duplicate queries. In order to be considered duplicate both the Data Source and the SQL Text must be an exact match. All except the most recently executed entry will be deleted.

Note: if you have a large History database this function may take several minutes to complete.

Section 508 usability certification

Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11 has been audited and found to be Compliant with Section 508: Subpart B—Technical Standards: § 1194.21 (Software). 

New Keyboard Shortcuts

Many new keyboard shortcuts have been added, and others that were previously undocumented have now been added to the documentation. Please refer to Appendix B of the user guide for a full list.

Some of the more frequently requested additions are:

Ctrl + PageDown  Move to the next Query / Answerset tab
Ctrl + PageUp Move to the previous Query / Answerset tab
Ctrl + F5  Restore the current child window to its previous size
Ctrl + F6 Move focus to the next child window
Ctrl + F7 Allows the arrow keys to be used to Move the current child window
Ctrl + F8 Allows the arrow keys to be used to Resize the current child window
Ctrl + F9 Minimize the current child window
Ctrl + F10 Maximize the current child window
Shift + F4 Tiles the child windows Horizontally
Shift + F5 Cascades the child windows
Shift + F6 Tiles the child windows Vertically

Note that the shortcuts that move to the next/previous tabs will place the focus on the Tab itself - not the data area above that tab. You must press the Tab key to move focus to the data area. This is intended to allow a user who does not have a mouse to access the context menus for a tab. 

Help for the Visually Impaired

In addition to the new Keyboard Shortcuts we have also improved support for the visually impaired.

The following items were already supported:

  • The ability to set the color used for most interface elements
  • The ability to set the font sizes used in the interface
  • The option to play a sound when a query completes
  • The ability to zoom text size in the main windows using the mouse wheel 

The following items have been added:

  • The ability to zoom text size in the main windows using keyboard shortcuts or menus/toolbuttons
  • The application now supports the use of Screen Readers for the blind.
  • A new option to add additional support for Screen Readers in the spreadsheet windows.

System Level Teradata.Net Data Sources

ODBC has the concept of User and System level data sources.

When using the Teradata.Net data provider however all data sources are created in the User branch.

This means that if the application is installed using a different User than the one who will be using the application then no data sources can be installed along with the application. In addition, there is no way to force a user to set the properties of a data source in a particular way.

In SQL Assistant 13.11 we have added the concept of System level data sources that can be used by all users of the client system. As with regular data sources the definitions are stored in a file called DataSources.config. The file for System data sources however is stored under the 'All Users' branch rather than under the user specific branch of 'Documents and Settings'. (or 'Users' on Windows 7)

An administrative user may modify any property of a system level data source (in reality they create a User level copy that masks the original System level data source) while a standard user may only modify a few properties such as the password and the identifying color.

When selecting a System level data source in the connection dialog a padlock icon will appear to the right of the data source name, and for standard users, many of the fields on the dialog will become disabled.

Other minor changes

A new tool button has been added to allow you to delete any keyboard macros you have previously created. This tool also removes the keyboard shortcuts that were associated with those macros.

An option has been added to the Data Format tab to allow you to specify whether dashes should be displayed between each byte of a Binary string.

For example:     48656C6C6F   or   48-65-6C-6C-6F

SQL Assistant will now remember whether you used the Current Column Only option when issuing a Find command for the History or an Answerset spreadsheet.

The application will remember this setting separately for History and Answersets since you may wish to search all columns of an Answerset, but would probably search within a single column in History.

Conclusion

Here we have described the main enhancements that should make the application easier to use by all users, including those with vision impairment. I hope this article has made you eager to try the new version which is now available from the Teradata patch server (SQL Assistant 13.11).

Tags (2)
11 REPLIES

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

Mike, Thanks for the update. Any word on supporting OS X outside of the Java based SQL Assistant?
Teradata Employee

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

Only via the Mac feature that allows you to run Windows apps.
The 'classic' version of SQL Assistant is .Net based with a couple of COM components so it is limited to Windows environments or to environments that emulate Windows.
N/A

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

Great !
at the moment i use SQLA V13.00 and i just tried Macros ....
how to delete a recorded Macro ?
Thanks for help,

Pierre
Teradata Employee

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

In SQLA 13.11 I added a menu/tool to do this.
But in 13.0 or 13.10 the only way to do it is to delete the registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Teradata\SQLA_CM
(You can safely delete the entire key)
N/A

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

Thanks !
it's OK (the button in V13.11 is better).
About Teradata.Net, i am interested in reading some documentation on why and what for choose it vs ODBC ?

Pierre

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

Would it be possible to include a notification that a user has their CAPS LOCK button on when they begin to enter their password from the ODBC or .Net provider login screens in an upcoming release?
Teradata Employee

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

The ReleaseNotes.htm file that is installed with SQL Assistant lists the various limitations of the ODBC vs Teradata.Net options.
In general there are rather more limitations with ODBC.
Other than that I can say that Teradata.Net will generally be faster - sometimes considerably faster.

I'll look at adding an indicator for Caps Lock to the Teradata.Net connection dialog. For ODBC I'll pass the request on to the ODBC group since SQL Assistant is not in control when that dialog is displayed.

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

Does the installer work with 64bit windows 7 yet?
Teradata Employee

Re: What’s new in Teradata SQL Assistant 13.11

The 13.11 install has always worked on 64 bit systems so long as you did not have the 64bit version of Microsoft Office installed.
13.11.0.3 will install even if you do have Office 64bit installed.
It will still install a 32bit version of the product (under \Program Files (x86)\...) but I am not aware of any other install problems on 64bit systems.